Bill Clinton Increasing His Campaign Role

Former President Bill Clinton is taking on a greater role Hillary's campaign. The Wall. St. Journal today:

His relentless approach to battling Barack Obama -- on the trail and inside the campaign -- is becoming key to Sen. Clinton's newfound success, as she has won four of the last six primaries.

He believes the campaign should be stronger in its attacks on Obama. He's also increasing his campaign appearances.

Mr. Clinton also told the campaign to double the number of his daily appearances. "Look at this schedule -- you've got me down for four events," he said the week before Pennsylvania's primary, according to one operative. "Give me six, eight a day. Get me to the suburbs where I can make a difference."

His involvement has had a positive impact. In the rural counties in PA where he campaigned for Hillary, she got more votes: [More...]

As evidence of Mr. Clinton's impact, the campaign cites the Pennsylvania primary, which Sen. Clinton won by a margin of nearly 10 percentage points over Sen. Obama. Campaign data show that Sen. Clinton won by huge margins in several rural counties that her husband visited: 44 percentage points in Armstrong County, 44 points in Cambria County, 48 points in Carbon County and 50 points in Greene County. This compares with an edge of 26 points for Hillary among rural voters statewide. In Bucks County, a Philadelphia suburb that Mr. Clinton visited, Sen. Clinton won by 26 points, compared with only three points in suburban Philadelphia as a whole, according to the campaign data.

Which voters does Bill Clinton appeal to? They are called "Bubba voters."

Mr. Clinton's appearances are designed to boost Sen. Clinton's appeal with working-class and so-called "Bubba" voters, older white men who are likely to sympathize with Democratic economic policies but supported Ronald Reagan and other Republicans. Mr. Clinton is also sending out fund-raising appeals, with strong results, two operatives say.

He's been hitting North Carolina hard. The numbers in that state are daunting for Hillary:

North Carolina offers 115 delegates, and roughly 38% of the state's registered Democrats are African-American, a demographic that favors Sen. Obama. According to exit polls, Sen. Obama captured 90% of black voters Tuesday in the Pennsylvania primary. Still, Sen. Clinton beat Sen. Obama in Pennsylvania by 55% to 45%.

She's not giving up:

Given Sen. Obama's double-digit lead in recent polls, many observers expected the Clinton campaign to concede North Carolina and pour its limited resources into tightly contested Indiana, which offers 72 delegates and also votes May 6. Instead, the campaign has opened roughly 20 offices around North Carolina and is expanding its staff of more than 50 paid employees. A $10 million cash infusion in the 24 hours after Sen. Clinton's Pennsylvania victory is helping.

< DNC Rules Committee To Meet May 31 on MI and FL | Indiana: Former Obama Supporter Stumps for Hillary >
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    FINALLY (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by AnninCA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:07:19 PM EST
    Bill gets a bit of good press!

    I even enjoy it when the Big Dawg barks.  I know the campaign must cringe, but about 95% of the time, he's spot on.

    And now the Obama attacks will escalate (5.00 / 10) (#2)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:10:44 PM EST
    against Bill, to get him off the campaign trail again.  And everything he says will be called racist -- and just when will "liberal fatigue" about that set in, finally?  It has for me, maybe for others.

    Take a page from KO and send Bill and Barack into a room and see what happens.  Enough with the surrogates attacking our former Dem presidents -- step up and speak up for yourself, Obama, for once.


    Obama has been attacking Bill personally (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by diplomatic on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:13:58 PM EST
    I don't know if you've noticed.

    From day one (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by abfabdem on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:31:15 PM EST
    Obama has lumped the Clinton administration and the Bush administration together and portraying them as equally bad.

    Thus the verb "escalate" (none / 0) (#29)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:16:15 PM EST
    as, yeh, I have noticed the previous attacks.  Duh.

    And now it's time for the response by Bill (none / 0) (#33)
    by diplomatic on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:25:41 PM EST
    gonna get interesting...

    Perhaps the target demographic isn't buying (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by lorelynn on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:18:01 PM EST
    it. One suspects that Obama has ridden horse about as far as he can.

    Leavvve Barrracccckkkkk's wafffffling allllonnnnne (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by Ellie on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:35:19 PM EST
    Given Obama's long habit of smearing from behind any available protective, he's got no game.

    His need to attack more frequently in the open highlight the warts on his Hope I'll Change image and will do him more harm than good in upcoming races.

    Whatever he serves now, after being propped up and coddled with millions in earned resources and bestowed freebies, multiply the weaknesses of his game.

    On return of weak serves, my money's on the Big Dawg. Loosen his leash, give him plenty of lunge space and watch Obama find new ways to look p!ssy, stingy and ill-humored.

    Get him chasing this stuff and he'll trip over his own feet. (Extra slippage compliments of his WORMs.)


    I Wonder If the Obama Camp (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by BDB on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:54:55 PM EST
    has played its tricks against Bill - and Hillary - one too many times.

    There's a massive takedown of the "race memo" the Obama campaign circulated before SC - here.


    Well... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Rainsong on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 05:03:02 PM EST
    I picked up my "Bill for First Dude!" stickers last week.

    I saw a skit in a Toronto dinner club a couple of months ago, a bunch of young men all dressed in suits and ties etc, dancing, and comparing their apparel to Bill's fashion and grooming standards,
    eg 'Man, I want a haircut like Bills' etc.

    It was a hoot, reversal of seeing First Ladies as fashion plates and models of feminine manners.


    Go Bill !! (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by Kensdad on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:18:42 PM EST
    the media has tried to make bill clinton into a liability when clearly he is not (at least in a democratic primary.)  it's always been about the media trying to even the playing field for obama by silencing bill.  before they played the race card on bill, i remember the whole riff on how bill overshadows hillary and how she can't "control" him, blah, blah...  remember the chants of "oh, no!  bill in the White House!  yikes!"  well, chris matthews was playing that drum again asking what would bill be doing over there in the East Wing (yesterday's "hardball")...  now, here comes rep. clyburn again, not only playing the race card just in time for N.C., but dragging out the lewinsky thing by saying that AA had saved bill when he was in trouble...  rep. clyburn is a piece of work.  i hope his ploy not only backfires on him this time, but the mud splashes onto the obama campaign, too...  Go, Bill !!

    Clinton Love (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:11:20 PM EST
    What confuses the MSM and the intelligentsia, is that Americans are not squeemish about liking people that are flawed.  The banality of Stewart saying he wants his elected officials to be "elitists" misses the point, people like fighters as long as they stand for something.  Krugman gets it right, now that the veneer has fallen off Obama, people who were willing to give him a vote, are not cause they don't see that moxie of the Clintons in him.  It's not racism, people like to have a heroic figure that got kicked in the teeth and keeps working at it.  They don't want a plastic hero.  

    What The MSM And The Intelligentsia Fail To (5.00 / 9) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:34:18 PM EST
    realize is that there is a large segment of the Democratic base that really loves Bill Clinton warts and all. Attacking him just doesn't go over all that well with them. Believe it or not, there are actually people who love or like and respect Hillary in her own right too.

    Now I'm not a believer in making any politician a hero but I do want someone who knows and can talk intelligently about the issues and their own policies and shows a willingness to fight for me. Vague just doesn't work for me and while I think change is always necessary, I want to know exactly what that change encompasses. It also has to be reality based. I  do not see high Broderism as reality.


    Amen! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by AnninCA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:38:58 PM EST
    The pundits like to paint the electorate as stupid.

    We do know the difference between Bosnia and Bittergate.  

    I so am on your page.


    I applaud this decision by the campaign (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by diplomatic on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:14:37 PM EST

    We Need To Send All The Money We Can (none / 0) (#39)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 02:08:31 PM EST
    Because sending Bill hither and yon ain't cheap!

    A good idea. (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:16:00 PM EST
    I think Bill has been marginalized because of BHO's people making him a racist. So Bill being on the trail is good especially in those rural areas. He has to stay away from anything that could be construed as racist but he can sure talk up the issues. He could keep on the health issue difference and point out Obama was originally for Bush's SS program and Bush's Supreme Court Roberts. He could attack Obama on the issues and as long as they are honest and to the point, he could win votes. Even comparing himself to Obama in saying he would not run in 92 as Obama said he would not run would be good. First you can say I had 8 years of being a Governor or whatever the number, and the choice of candidates were not good. So I was encouraged to join the fray. Hillary told the people of NY that she would serve out her first six year term and she kept her word. So in reality there is no comparison. Experience and keeping her word.

    No doubt (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by stillife on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:56:26 PM EST
    it was part of the Obama campaign's strategy, to neutralize Bill b/c they knew he would be a formidable opponent.  It worked very well in SC and the MSM and the blogs ran with it.  It makes me sad that people, including my own mom, who used to admire the Clintons, now hate them because of the propaganda they've been fed from the Obama campaign, the MSM and the Big Blogs.  

    But now, thanks in part to the good Rev. Wright and numerous gaffes by Obama, voters and even the MSM are starting to see the man behind the curtain.


    I just hope and pray this doesn't negatively (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by athyrio on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:19:41 PM EST
    affect his health...he and Hillary haven't taken any time off in months except for holidays and Obama is always complaining about how tough this is and taking time off.....Would be interesting to see their past vacations taken....The Clintons are work horses...Why haven't we been seeing Michele lately?

    Michelle was in PA (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by Kensdad on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:26:48 PM EST
    Michelle was angry about the elitist comments.  She gave a finger-wagging, all-up-in-your-face speech about her humble background (and elite education.)  It was very uncomfortable to watch.  It wasn't one of these "i'm so grateful for the opportunity to grow up in a country that allows anyone to succeed."  It was more like "I grew up without any advantages and I'm still angry about it eventhough I went to Princeton and Harvard, so don't you dare call me an elitist."

    In Obama's defense (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by ineedalife on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:44:34 PM EST
    he does have children. Taking a day off here and there for family time is important too.

    If Bill (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by AnninCA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:42:17 PM EST
    dies shaking hands, that's a happy man.

    He is the essence of a politician.

    He would absolutely pray to die doing what he loves.

    Rendell said, "This is fun.  Campaigning when I'm not on the line is way fun."

    Ditto for Bill.

    I firmly believe the man is having a complete blast, tiring as it might be.


    Don't know, don't care. I think they have (none / 0) (#40)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 02:13:08 PM EST
    Michelle under wraps because she is more of a hindrance than a help to their campaign.

    The Clintons are fighters (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by stillife on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:40:38 PM EST
    and that's one reason why I love them.  Some people might call it ruthless ambition, but I call it love of their country.  This probably sounds corny, but I'm touched by how hard he's working for her.  

    No wonder the Obama campaign is so scared of Bill - his ability to work a crowd makes Obama look like a piker.  I'm glad they're not backing down and letting themselves be intimidated by the race card.  She's already lost 90% of the AA vote - what do they have to lose?  And quite honestly, I think the Obama campaign has just about played out the race card.  If they keep it up, it'll only backfire with non-AA voters.

    May 6 is do or die for her - she has to win at least IN.  Bill knows that.  I think it's great that they're not conceding NC.  Give Obama a run for his money, ruffle his feathers - we all know he doesn't do well under pressure.  Already he seems as flat as yesterday's soda pop.  

    Okay, let's do it (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:42:45 PM EST
    He believes the campaign should be stronger in its attacks on Obama.

    I say go for it.  I am way past the 'how can you do this to Obama' nonsense. This is an election and we have a candidate who is strong, competent and a winner. For every covert and open criticism of her by his campaign, I'd blast right back.

    Obama's sarcasm  and circumlocution is to reach those whose he already has - people who believe that government should be run by class. Well, I say Hillary should just keep on getting them to whine, whine, whine.

    Go for it Hillary.

    I know this is crude (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by davnee on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:42:57 PM EST
    But if the Obama camp is going to play the race card against the Clintons, then the campaign should say bring it on and release the Big Dawg into the heart of those who might be swayed by the race card each way.  

    Send Bubba Bill right into the heart of those working class whites who hear race card language and resent it as something irrelevant to their hard day to day life that just takes needed attention of government away from them.  Let Bill stoke that resentment simply by showing up and connecting with them and demonstrating that under the Clintons the government will listen to them and cater to them as much as any other group.  Obama having dropped his mask has demonstrated he doesn't care about them, but they'll remember in the booth that Bubba does care.

    And send Bill right into the heart of the liberal white guilt suburbs and let him just by his presence and his evocation of the feel-good 90's make these people think twice about what they are being guilted into giving up - competent, proven left- centrist government.  It's become increasingly apparent that Obama does not offer that with any level of certainty.  Are they willing when the curtain is closed around them to trade competence for absolution?  Seeing Bill be electric on the stump brings that choice in to stark relief.

    I know this is all terribly un-pc, but the Clintons don't have to say anything to defend themselves.  None of this has to be spoken.  They should just go out and be themselves.  And I guarantee the Clintons just being themselves on the stump is enough to get the job done against the race card.  The only question is time.  Is there time enough left now that Obama has been outed as running an avowedly racial campaign, and outed as being an empty suit propped by false rhetoric, to reset this nomination fight?  This is not about Obama's race, it it is about his weaknesses as a candidate:  inexperience, radical roots, lack of substance, elitist arrogance.  All he has left to offer is race.  That's what I think voters will be thinking behind the curtain.

    Great post (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by AnninCA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:40:22 PM EST
    I agree.  Bill can win over the suburbs.

    He's more than "bubba."


    I don't believe Bill Clinton (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:47:20 PM EST
    will ever call the shots. I have always believed that she is stronger, brighter and more balanced and decisive than him.

    I like him and he was pretty good president but she is just fine on her own.

    I agree, but I do hope she will (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:15:16 PM EST
    engage his economic chops on our behalf. They are formidable. He is a great economist. And I have that from my Dad who is a political economist who worked on Pres. Carter's budget..the last balanced budget this country had, I think. And if he can impress my Dad with his economic ability, he is really good.

    Ditto MichaelGale. There will be lots for him (none / 0) (#41)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 02:16:18 PM EST
    to do in the way of traveling the world for the sake of goodwill and hopefully help the standing of the U.S. in the world.  You know....the job Karen Hughes was supposed to do...lmao

    Not hardly (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by davnee on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:50:56 PM EST
    I have no doubt he'll have a voice in the administration, just as she did in his, but he's not going to be calling the shots.

    But hey if believing he will makes you more likely to vote for her, then I won't argue with you too much until January.  ;-)

    He would be much more useful (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:22:48 PM EST
    out selling her policies. People like to listen to him more than her, I think. So, policy explanations coming from him would be good. And everyone likes him, once they meet him.

    I have met Bill Clinton in person when he was getting ready to run in '92, at a fundraiser my grandmother did for him in '91. He is devastatingly charming. I am a tough race tracker, and not into being a fan, but Bill Clinton got my vote the minute he smiled at me and said, "Hello, so nice to meet you, thank you for coming. I really appreciate your support!" Fortunately, I had already decided to vote for him for other reasons..LOL

    I met Hillary too, and she was very nice, but Bill knocked you over with his charm without even trying to. And he can do it by the roomful, not just one on one. The guy is a huge political asset, huge!!


    He appeals to more than the Bubba voters. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Joan in VA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:19:34 PM EST
    Woman love him-he's the ultimate Bad Boy. Good news that he'll be prominent. I think he could be effective in reminding the AA community why they never thought he was a racist until now. Maybe even peel of a few there.

    But I hope someone (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Andre on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:46:53 PM EST
    is watching Bid Dawg's heart.  He's had heart problems, so I just hope he's careful, and someone keeps him from going overboard.

    Paul Krugman (5.00 / 6) (#42)
    by Andy08 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 02:25:21 PM EST
    got it right; Obama has been trashing the Clinton Administration as if it were equaivalent to the current one. The only Dem Presient to get re-elected in .... and Obama just trashes him.
    I find that very hard to forgive. Bill Clinton has many defects but to discard and diss his administration and imply nothing good came out of it essentially is shooting the Dem. Party in the
    the back of the head.

    Thats just another (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Chisoxy on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 04:18:15 PM EST
    reason I will not vote for him. He started the intra-party war, which I might overlook as politics. But lumping Clinton with Bush Jr is unforgivable.

    Bill is the real deal (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by karen for Clinton on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 06:08:15 PM EST
    Obama has often said he makes mistakes and will continue to do so and is not perfect.

    He should shut up about Bill.  We all know Bill isn't perfect and that he screwed up, but he is a deeply caring man and worked harder and accomplished more than any other president in my lifetime and for those things he is still loved.

    Another thing, silly as it is, when he started campaigning for her he was looking red faced and not too well.  He's looking healthier and energized these days and is in his element working his tail off doing as much as humanly possible.

    I just hope and pray this doesn't negatively (none / 0) (#10)
    by athyrio on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:20:25 PM EST
    affect his health...he and Hillary haven't taken any time off in months except for holidays and Obama is always complaining about how tough this is and taking time off.....Would be interesting to see their past vacations taken....The Clintons are work horses...Why haven't we been seeing Michele lately?

    She must not poll well (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by diplomatic on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:31:50 PM EST
    There is no question in my mind that if she was an asset to Obama's campaign, she'd be out there a lot more.  Unlike Bill Clinton, the media wasn't trying to shame her out of the spotlight with hyped up controversies.   And as far as we know she is in fine health.

    She's been a liability, IMO (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by stillife on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:43:54 PM EST
    She comes off as sharp and angry in every speech I've seen or read. Not ready for prime time.

    i saw her at a sit down (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by wasabi on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:35:52 PM EST
    I saw her on C-SPAN in someones house prior to Iowa, talking about Barack and American.  She talked off-the-cuff for more than an hour and she was very impressive.  This was all before the "I can get her votes, but she can't get mine" and "I'm not sure I could campaign for Clinton" crap out of the both of them.  But she is very impressive in a small group.

    Never Concede Never Surrender (none / 0) (#18)
    by blogtopus on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:41:57 PM EST
    To paraphrase my favorite Jean-Claude VanDamme movie. :-)

    If Hillary shows NC she won't ignore them, then that's another good sign for the Super D's.

    Also I suspect (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    They are playing for the demographic data, not a win or even a close election. I would guess they will run their NC campaign appealing to middle class working dems to prevent the narrative that Obama "made inroads into her demographics."

    Its an interesting race again.


    Yesterday someone commented that (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by hairspray on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 02:36:38 PM EST
    Clyburn played the race card so that Obama could increase his AA turnout and make his popular vote more competitive. He certainly will win NC but what percentage of the 35% AA vote will come out? The AA turnout in PA as I heard was only 13% and has been dropping a bit.  The O campaign was hoping for a 15% tunrout.  The same could be said for Clinton.  She needs to keep those numbers up. Also, Ace Smith is the guy who helped her win CA and TX and he is there working the state.  He is quite a talent I hear.